Saturday, April 30, 2011

Imperial period Roman ship found in Ostia Antica

Archaeologists say they have found part of an ancient ship near Rome during repair work to a bridge. The 11 metre vessel is one of the largest ancient vessels excavated near Ostia Antica, a port city founded some 2,500 years ago.

The original river harbour of Ostia had limitations as larger ships such as this one could not enter it due to a sand bar near the mouth of the river. Mercantile goods that arrived in large sea going ships had to be transferred to smaller vessels at sea then these shallow-draught vessels could navigate the river and moor at the Tiber quays, but as time passed there was just not enough capacity for Rome’s growing needs.

The Emperor Claudius started the construction of an artificial harbour, in AD 42 a few kilometres to the north of Ostia. A huge basin was created by enhancing a natural bay, protected by two curved moles and a lighthouse. A number of ships filled with Roman concrete was used as foundations for these moles.

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Italy: Ancient ship uncovered near Rome coast

Builders have unearthed the remains of a 2,000 year-old wooden ship dating from the Roman Empire, near the Italian capital Rome's ancient port of Ostia. The ship's discovery, made during work at the site of a new road, was hailed as an important one by archaeologists.

"It shows that the coastline during during ancient Roman times was some 3-4 kilometres farther inland than it is now," said Ostia archaeology official Anna Maria Moretti .

The wooden ship was about 11 metres long, making it one of the largest ancient vessels excavated near Ostia Antica, a port city founded some 2,500 years ago and Rome's first colony.

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Roman Ship Emerges Near Ancient Port

A 2,000-year-old Roman ship in the middle of a plain near the ancient port of Rome has been unearthed by Italian archaeologists.

The wooden vessel was found at a depth of 13 feet during repair work on a bridge that links the modern town of Ostia with Fiumicino, where Rome's main airport is located.

Measuring 36 feet in length, the ship is the largest ever excavated near the ruins of Ostia Antica, a port city near the mouth of the Tiber River that rivals the riches of Pompeii.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Girl 'murdered' by Roman soldiers in north Kent

The body of a girl thought to have been murdered by Roman soldiers has been discovered in north Kent.

Archaeologists working on the site of a Roman settlement near the A2 uncovered the girl who died almost 2,000 years ago.

"She was killed by a Roman sword stabbing her in the back of the head," said Dr Paul Wilkinson, director of the excavation.

"By the position of the entry wound she would have been kneeling at the time."

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Remains of ancient Roman temple uncovered

WORK being carried out in the area surrounding the Roman ruins in Torrox have uncovered remains of a temple dating back to the first century. Between 30 and 40 pieces, mainly lintels and fragments of columns have been found near the coast and work is ongoing in the hopes of discovering other hidden remains.

The archaeologist supervising the works, Aurora Urdiales, has classified it as an “impressive discovery, both due to the magnitude and dimension of each element and due to the state of conservation in which they have been found”.

The temple is believed to be part of the old Roman town of Caviclum, located in the area where the lighthouse can now be seen.

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Roman tomb found under Naples toxic waste dump

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Roman mausoleum under an illegal toxic waste dump near Naples.

The sprawling 2nd-century AD tomb, complete with stucco work and decorations, was found under nearly 60 tonnes of refuse illicitly piled up in 17th-century ruins at Pozzuoli, site of the ancient Roman seaside town of Puteolanum.

Police with diggers cleared away the top level of garbage and unearthed an underground tunnel leading into the mausoleum which archaeologists described as "of extraordinary interest".

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Italy: Ancient Roman mausoleum found under tonnes of garbage

Italian police near Naples discovered a 2,000-year-old Roman-era mausoleum buried under tons of illegally-dumped garbage.

The mausoleum, which dates back to the second century AD, was found by police hidden beneath 58 tonnes of garbage in the coastal town Pozzuoli while they were impounding the site they say was used to illegally dispose of waste.

Police used earth-moving equipment to dig through the garbage revealing the entrance to the mausoleum which was used to hide refuse.

Marble beams and decorations came to light after trash was removed from the tunnel.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Uncovered: The remains of two Roman soldiers

ARCHAEOLOGISTS believe they have uncovered the remains of two Roman soldiers beneath one of Colchester’s former barracks.

The remains of two spearmen, laid to rest on their backs with their weapons and armour, have been discovered in a cemetery beneath the former Hyderabad Barracks.

The Colchester Archaeological Trust believes they could have been Saxon soldiers hired in the 4th or 5th century AD – the final days of the Roman empire.

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Tyrannical Roman Emperor's Home Reconstructed

Notorious for being a cruel megalomaniac tyrant who persecuted early Christians, had his stepbrother, two of his wives and even his own mother murdered, Rome's fifth emperor, Nero, has never been held dear in Roman history.

In fact, he has been accused of nearly destroying Rome, itself, by allegedly setting the Great Fire in 64 A.D. that devastated the city.

Now tourists can tour his first palace.

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Legendary Saints Were Real, Buried Alive, Study Hints

Bones of a Roman couple—killed for being Christian—may have been identified.

The skeletons of two married, early-Christian saints—said to have been buried alive nearly 2,000 years ago—may have been identified in Italy, scientists announced Thursday.

Analysis of the skeletons—sealed off for centuries in an Italian cathedral until recently—seems to support the legend of Chrysanthus and Daria, who are said to have been persecuted in the city of Rome for being Christians.

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Discovering Santa Fiora

The Caput Aquae of the Aqua Traiana

Two web pages about the Santa Fiora Aqueduct:

The Archaeology of the Spring Chamber at the Santa Fiora Nymphaeum


Features of the Aqua Traiana Aqueduct Tunnel at Santa Fiora

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Aqueduct Hunter dot Com launches on Worldwide Water day 2011

The AqueductHunter Website has launched today on Worldwide Water day, and features a special report on the discovery of the Santa Fiora Nymphaeum, the primary source of the Aqua Traiana Aqueduct. has twelve pages of information on the Santa Fiora discovery and the Aqua Traiana, twenty six image pages and four brand-spanking new plans and projections of the Fiora Nymphaeum site. is a great resource for Emperors, Enthusiasts and Erudati alike.

Come and read about the world of Roman Water and meet the fearless aqueduct hunters

Friday, April 15, 2011

Roman kilns and Bronze Age remains at Plumley Wood

rchaeological fieldwork carried out in advance of mineral extraction unearthed a group of pottery kilns dating from the late Roman period. This is one of several discoveries revealed by Thames Valley Archaeological Services (TVAS) during the course of quarrying in the area and includes an important Late Palaeolithic site just to the south at Somerley.

The New Forest has long been recognized as an important centre of pottery production in Roman Britain, its products being widely traded throughout the province. It is, however, a somewhat surprising location for site director Andy Taylor and his team to find such an industry. The main drawback being the lack of locally available clay suitable for potting. It appears that the supply of timber for fuel was more important than the lack of clay.

The pottery produced here is distinctive for its shiny appearance, which seems to have been intended to imitate metallic vessels (silver or pewter); and even the shapes also seem to copy metal vessel shapes, such as the very typical indented beaker (see photograph).

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A temple of Roman goddess Nemesis, discovered in Alba Iulia

A temple built by Roman legions at the end of the second or start of the third century has been discovered within the Alba Iulia citadel, reports Mediafax news wire. The intricate detail of this discovery consists in the fact that a sacred temple was rarely, if ever, built inside a Roman legion camp.

The discovery was made during improvement works developed at the archaeological site of the Alba Iulia citadel. The temple is part of the Gemina Legion 13 camp and is believed to have been built by the soldiers, as an offering to their patron. The temple comprises a votive altar, a marble plaque representing a gladiator and a marble statue of the goddess, reports Mediafax. Several other traces of the Roman legion camps were also discovered at the site.

Nemesis was the goddess of revenge for Romans, being also regarded as the patron of gladiators and soldiers.

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Römisches Kriegsschiff kreuzt im Dienst der Wissenschaft

Trierer Professor Christoph Schäfer betreut Nachbau einer „Navis Lusoria“

Ein Desaster? Über Monate haben viele Hände an dem Nachbau eines römischen Kriegsschiffs gebaut. Und dann das: Bei der Jungfernfahrt dringt Wasser in den Rumpf. Was Laien in eine Schrecken versetzt, ist für Experten kein unrühmlicher Untergang eines ambitionierten Projekts, sondern durchaus beabsichtigt.

Damit das Schiff schwimmt, müssen seine Planken Feuchtigkeit aufnehmen, aufquellen und auf diese Weise den Bootsrumpf abdichten. Nicht nur bei diesem Verfahren halten sich die Bootsbauer, die in einer Germersheimer Bundeswehrkaserne eine sogenannte „Navis Lusoria“ nachbauen, getreu an die historischen Vorbilder. Wie diese römischen Kriegsschiffe des dritten und vierten nachchristlichen Jahrhunderts konstruiert und gebaut waren, weiß in Deutschland kaum jemand besser als Prof. Dr. Christoph Schäfer, Althistoriker an der Universität Trier. Es ist nicht die erste Rekonstruktion, die unter seinen wissenschaftlichen Fittichen entsteht und neue Erkenntnisse erbringen soll.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Roman “Treasure Trove” find is so saucy!

A SOLID gold pendant with an unmistakable shape was the subject of a “treasure trove” inquest at Lynn County Court yesterday.

For the item on which Norfolk coroner William Armstrong was being asked to adjudicate was a Roman golden pendant in the distinctive shape of a phallus.

The coroner said the pendant was found on land belonging to farmer Neil Riseborough at Hillington on January 30 this year by Kevin Hillier.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fall of Roman Empire caused by 'contagion of homosexuality'

A prominent Italian historian has claimed that the Roman Empire collapsed because a "contagion of homosexuality and effeminacy" made it easy pickings for barbarian hordes, sparking a furious row.

Roberto De Mattei, 63, the deputy head of the country's National Research Council, claimed that the empire was fatally weakened after conquering Carthage, which he described as "a paradise for homosexuals".

The remarks prompted angry calls for his resignation, with critics saying his comments were homophobic, offensive and unbecoming of his position.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Canterbury’s Roman Theatre revealed

Canterbury’s Roman Theatre has once again taken centre stage. Routine investigations at the north-east end of Castle Street, revealed a section of paving that probably formed part of the orchestra, together with masonry possibly associated with the stage.

Blocks of tightly-jointed, squared blocks of greensand were found in the first trench (0.10m in thickness and on average measuring about 1 by 1.20m) and were laid over a thick bedding of mortared flints.

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iPad Helps Archaeologists

New technology is revolutionizing the precise recording of history at an ancient, lost city, bucking a tradition that has been in place for centuries. University of Cincinnati researchers will present "The Paperless Project: The Use of iPads in the Excavations at Pompeii"* at the 39th annual international conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA). The conference takes place April 12-16 in Beijing, China.

UC teams of archaeologists have spent more than a decade at the site of the Roman city that was buried under a volcano in 79 AD. The project is producing a complete archaeological analysis of homes, shops and businesses at a forgotten area inside one of the busiest gates of Pompeii, the Porta Stabia.

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